If Two Views Are Possible In Paying Compensation To Land Losers, Prefer View Advancing Cause Of Justice: SC
The Supreme Court has held that the orders passed by the Courts should be understood on their pith and substance. It added that if two views are possible in matters of payment of compensation amount to land losers, the view advancing the cause of justice is always to be preferred rather than the other view, which may draw its strength only from technicalities.
The Bench of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia observed thus "…the orders passed by the Courts, and particularly by this Court, are required to be understood on their pith and substance while avoiding an approach of technicalities. Moreover, when the matter relates to the payment of amount of compensation to the land losers, if at all two views are possible, the view that advances the cause of justice is always to be preferred rather than the other view, which may draw its strength only from technicalities."
The Bench made this observation while dealing with an appeal challenging the Order of Bombay High Court whereby the High Court allowed the applicant-Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation ('MTDC') to withdraw an amount of Rs. 1,37,50,547/-, which was deposited by them towards enhanced amount of compensation.
Advocate Ashutosh Dubey represented the Appellants whereas MTDC was represented by Black & White Solicitors. Advocate Sachin Patil represented the State of Maharashtra.
The case of the applicant-MTDC before the High Court had been that 50% of the amount of compensation awarded by the Reference Court had already been deposited by them in January 2017 in terms of the order passed by the High Court in December 2016.
It was submitted that the said order of December 2016 having not been altered by any Court, they had mistakenly deposited further an amount of Rs. 1,37,50,547/- and were entitled to withdraw the same.
On the other hand, the present appellants had asserted before the High Court that in terms of the order dated January 2018 passed by the Supreme Court, the said order dated December 2016 stood modified because the Supreme Court had directed release of 50% of the amount of compensation with security and remaining 50% without security.
The Supreme Court observed thus "At the first blush, it may appear that when only the said order 07.06.2017 (disbursal order) was in challenge before this Court and the principal order dated 14.12.2016 (stay order requiring only 50% deposit) was not in question, the order passed by this Court co-relates only with the disbursal order and thereby, the appellants would be entitled to withdraw 50% of the deposited amount without security and balance 50% on furnishing security. However, a close look at the order 29.01.2018 and the relied upon order therein bring to fore a situation entirely different; and it is difficult to accept the submissions of the applicant-MTDC as also the observations of the High Court that this Court's order related only to the deposited amount of compensation and not to the entire enhanced amount of compensation."
The Court held that its order dated January 2018 is required to be interpreted and applied on its substance rather than technicalities.
The Court observed "…the applicant-MTDC had correctly understood the meaning, purport and effect of the order dated 29.01.2018 in the first instance when the remaining 50% of the amount of compensation was deposited on 20.03.2018. Their second thought and late attempt to withdraw the said amount, was required to be rejected."
Accordingly, the Court set aside the Order passed by the Bombay High Court allowing applicant-MTDC to withdraw the amount of Rs. 1,37,50,547/-, which was deposited by them towards enhanced amount of compensation.
Cause Title- Kazi Moinuddin Kazi Bashiroddin & Ors. v. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, Through Its Senior Regional Manager Regional Office, Mtdc, Aurangabad, Maharashtra & Anr.